Applying for Aid

We encourage all students and potential students to apply for financial aid.

File as early as you can to maximize your potential aid opportunities. The timeline to apply for financial aid varies by the type of student — and you need to reapply for financial aid every year.

Questions about financial aid? Our topic-focused videos can help.

Financial Aid TV

Apply Using the FAFSA

If you are a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, lawful permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen, you need to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Filing your FAFSA is the only way to qualify for federal and state grant programs, federal direct loans including Parent Plus loans and Grad Plus loans, and is required for some Alma College Scholarship Programs*.

Gather Your Materials

Gather Your Materials

You’ll need the following to complete a FAFSA form:

  • Social Security and driver’s license numbers for you and your parent(s)/guardian(s). If you are considered an independent student, no parental information is necessary.
  • Your tax return or W-2 (or other records of income) from two years prior. For the 2023-24 academic year, you’ll use your 2021 return. If available in the FASFA, use the IRS data retrieval tool (DRT), to automatically import your tax return information.
  • Account statements for all investment assets and bank statements, such as stocks, bonds, business assets, etc.
  • Records of untaxed income, such as child support and interest income.

Apply for a FSA ID

Apply for a FSA ID

The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is your account username and password, and allows students and parents to identify themselves electronically to access federal student aid websites. While you aren’t required to have an FSA ID to complete and submit a FAFSA form, it’s the fastest way to sign your application and have it processed. It’s also the only way to access or correct your information online or to pre-fill an online FAFSA form with information from your previous year’s FAFSA form. Parents and students require separate FSA IDs.

Already have an FSA ID? You don’t need to reapply!

Submit Your FAFSA

Submit Your FAFSA

Submit your FAFSA between October 1 and May 1 for priority consideration for the upcoming academic year. Enter Alma’s Federal School Code 002236 to ensure we receive your information. Be sure to file by March 1 in order to be considered for priority aid through the state of Michigan.

Make Corrections, if Needed

Make Corrections, if Needed

After filing your application, you’ll receive an email notification with a link to your Federal Student Aid Report. Review the information carefully and follow the instructions if you need to make any corrections or are chosen for verification.

Respond to any document requests

Respond to any document requests

Your financial aid cannot be finalized until all requested documents are received. You can securely submit files to our office using the Secure Document Uploader. Please monitor your email as this is how we’ll communicate with you regarding documents needed.

Information regarding missing items can be found in your student portal as well. Please refer to our verification page for additional details on completing this process.

Financial Aid “offer letters” are sent through the mail starting in early December and continue on a rolling basis as students complete all of their requirements and scholarship decisions are finalized.

Follow the Appropriate Process

To ensure you receive the maximum consideration for scholarships and financial aid:

First Year Students

First Year Students

  • Complete any applications or auditions that may be required for performance or interest-based awards. Your admissions representative can assist you with these processes or with any questions.
  • Research and apply for outside scholarships starting in November prior to the upcoming academic year. Typically, organizations complete their awarding in February/March for the upcoming year.
  • Once you receive your offer letter please complete the next steps to receive your aid.

Financial Aid “offer letters” are sent through the mail starting in early December and continue on a rolling basis as students complete all of their requirements and scholarship decisions are finalized.

Transfer Student

Transfer Student

  • Complete any applications or auditions that may be required for performance or interest-based awards. Your admissions representative can assist you with these processes or with any questions.
  • Submit copy of transcripts 
  • Research and apply for outside scholarships starting in November prior to the upcoming academic year. Typically, organizations complete their awarding in February/March for the upcoming year.
  • Once you receive your offer letter please complete next steps to receive your aid.

Financial Aid “offer letters” are sent through the mail starting in early December and continue on a rolling basis as students complete all of their requirements and scholarship decisions are finalized.

Current Student

Current Student

  • Research and apply for outside scholarships starting in November prior to the upcoming academic year. Typically, organizations complete their awarding in February/March for the upcoming year.
  • Once you receive your offer letter please complete next steps to receive your aid.

Financial Aid “offer letters” are sent through the mail starting in early December and continue on a rolling basis as students complete all of their requirements and scholarship decisions are finalized.

Graduate Students

Graduate Students

New and returning graduate students who are enrolled at least half time are eligible for a limited number of aid programs.

  • U.S. Citizens: Complete the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal student loans.
  • International Students: Non-United State citizens or those not having a lawful permanent resident status are not considered for U.S. federal loans and are encouraged to seek out financing options through a financial banking institution by way of a private loan that includes a U.S. co-signer. You may also seek outside scholarships.
  • Federal, state, and most institutional grant and scholarship programs are limited for graduate students.

Use scholarship search tools to explore scholarships for graduate students
Unigo
GoGrad
Graduate School Scholarship Search
Scholarship America

*FAFSA filing required for the following Alma programs:
Distinguished Presidential, ACE, Detroit Future, Detroit Promise, Heritage Need Based Award, and STEM.

Get In Touch

Questions about financial aid? We’re here to help! Stop by our office, send us an email or give us a call.

Location: Hamilton Commons, Lower Level
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Phone: (989) 463-7347
Email: FinAid@alma.edu